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Are domestic partnerships obsolete?

Before the legalization of same-sex marriage across the nation, there were numerous ways that gay couples could join together through civil unions and domestic partnerships. Civil unions are similar to marriage in that the same rights and privileges tend to be awarded. With domestic partnerships, some of the rights and privileges of marriage will be conferred to the spouses.

Ever since the legalization of same-sex marriage, however, some have believed that certain states offering domestic partnerships -- including Minnesota -- may decide to revoke this legal status. Also, companies offering employment benefits to those in same-sex unions have been considering the removal of such programs. So, are domestic partnerships obsolete?

In most cases, these legal accommodations were created for gay couples, so that they could receive certain benefits normally not available to them. However, the accommodations have also proved useful to other members of the population. Curb cuts are useful to bicyclists and parents with strollers just as much as they're useful to people in wheelchairs. Similarly, domestic partnerships are useful to non-romantic partners, cohabiting couples and non-sexual partners just as much as they're useful to gay couples.

In this respect, even though gay marriage has been legalized, it does not mean that usefulness of domestic partnerships has disappeared. There are numerous people who can still benefit greatly from these legal arrangements.

Do you think that you could benefit from entering into a domestic partnership? A Minnesota family law attorney can review your history and your partner's history to determine if this kind of legal arrangement is appropriate for your needs.

Source: fivethirtyeight.com, "Gay Marriage Doesn’t Make Domestic Partnership Obsolete," Leah Libresco, accessed April 13, 2017

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